February 29, 2004


Yet another day of no blogging here; I'll be spending the day at a friend's house experimenting with traditional Moroccan recipes in preparation for her first foray into cooking for her Moroccan boyfriend. Mmmm, fooooood.

But, pssst, I see there's a lot of cool reading over at Hit & Run!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2004

I Love You, I Hate You

Yep, I'm finally adding some more of my crappy recordings to the server!
This one is about a girl I met in High School and... well, the thing's pretty self-explanitory.

You might notice that the keyboard "strings" occassionally seem to be playing when they're not supposed to (during the vocal). That's 'cause I kept practicing it as I recorded it but forgot to fade it out during the mix. If I ever unbury my recorder I'll remix it (or just record a tighter version), but for now, that's the only version I have.

[If it isn't on the sidebar yet, it soon will be (crossing fingers).]

A high school from another world; I'd have to play it smart
I met your bus each morning just to watch you stop and start
You offered me you're all to hold and then you stood aloof
I faced that fact then paid you back by telling you the truth:

I love you
I hate you
I love you
I hate you

Years went by and still I tried -- just to keep in touch
never wanted more than we had before -- and not even that much
and you could be so open 'til the past is just a ghost
then lock up like a wheel that went to fast and got too close

I love you I hate you I love you I hate you

I found a stack of letters that you'd written through the years
the rubber band had dried up like the career of Tears For Fears*
I read them all, one by one, 'til there weren't anymore
and left them lying there like daisy petals on the floor

I love you
I hate you
I love you
I hate you.

[* Okay, that's a "dummy lyric". I just haven't found a line that I'd like to go there yet...]

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2004

The first annual Fairfield County Munuvian Blogger Trivia Invitational.

Yes, it's the First Annual Fairfield County Munuvian Blogger Trivia Invitational to be held in... er.. New Haven County, Connecticut... and everyone's invited!

Stephen Macklin and Tuning Spork will be meeting for lunch on Friday, March 5th -- the first time either of them will come face to face with a fellow Munuvian. But we can't let mutual respect and commeraderie come between them now can we? They must compete! This is where you come in!

They've decided to invite you, their beloved readers, to pose to them trivia questions in their 5 chosen categories of "expertise". (That doesn't mean that they are, in fact, experts in those categories, but merely that those are the categories in which they'd like to be asked challenging questions!)

Stephen's chosen categories are:
1) Sailboat racing
2) Mac OS
3) Lord of the Rings
4) Food
5) Objectivism

Spork's chosen categories are:
1) The Beatles
2) Watergate
3) Offset printing presses
4) General Relativity and/or Classical Mechanics (non-Quantum Physics)
5) The Simpsons

Your task -- should you decide to accept it -- is to provide to each of them trivia questions (including the answers!!!) in their chosen categories which shall be posed to them, respectively, during their feeding frenzy at Gusto's next Friday. Make them easier; make them harder; make them funner; make them retarded. Whatever!

One thing (not that we're askin' for anything unreasonable): As they'd like to have an equal number of questions posed to each: If you send two questions for Stephen to Spork, send two for Spork to Stephen.

Now, if there is a question that you have for either of them that you don't know the answer to, and are asking only because you'd like to know the answer, that'll be fine, too. We're flexible. Just write:
Q: [insert question]
A: You tell me, Smartypants.

Questions for Stephen Macklin should be emailed to Tuning Spork at robertwarrenjones@juno.com
and questions for Spork should be emailed to Stephen at blogmail@optonline.net .
The deadline is, I suppose, in one week on Thursday, March 4th 11:00pm EST.

Keep in mind that they will be posing your trivia questions to each other while they're busy chawing on pizza, pasta, meatball grinders and bread dipped in flavored olive oil, so make 'em pithy and direct!

A splendid time is guaranteed for all!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:39 PM | Comments (3)

February 23, 2004

Foggy Memories: MUSHROOMS

(Here's the entry that I tried to post last night. Yep, I wrote it again! This is, I believe, the 5th time I wrote it. It was so easy this time 'cause I know it by heart now. Heh.)

Whenever we had mushrooms with dinner, while I was growing up, I was always told (and I can hear my Grandmother's voice the clearest): "Now, don't you go eating mushrooms that you find outside 'cause you never know if they're poisonous."
My kid logic always responded with "If you never know if a mushroom is poisonous then why the @%#$ are you feeding me mushrooms?!"

Even when I was old enough to know that my fear of poisoned mushrooms on my plate was irrational, it still stuck with me.

For years and years I always pushed the 'shrooms away -- to the point that I had no recallection of what they tasted like. Friends would occassionally ask "Why aren't eating the mushrooms?" "Dunno..." I'd mumble, "...jus' don' like 'em. Half the time I was barely aware that I was pushing them aside and probably, at the time, didn't remember the reason why.

Then one day, circa 1990, I was eating lunch in the company cafeteria with my friend and fellow pressman Hector. As I ate the beef entre -- avoiding the 'shrooms -- Hector began to moan "Mmmm...I just lo-o-o-o-ve mushrooms..."
Then they started to look good. Did I dare sample one or two of these potentially deadly morsels of fugal evilness? I did; and they were goooooood.

Now I make mushrooms all the time. I fry 'em in butter and garlic, I stuff 'em and bake 'em, I braise 'em in beef gravy. I can't get enough of 'em!
So, I guess my point is: If you refuse to eat certain foods -- foods that you can't imagine the taste of -- there's a chance that the boycott is keeping you from enjoying a tasty dish. Tastes change over time; and not just in food, of course.

So, enjoy those mushrooms, kids! Just don't go eating the ones that you find outside 'cause you never know if a mushroom is poisonous. Mwuh huh hah haw hee haw!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:21 PM | Comments (3)

Foggy Memories: Mushrooms


Posted by Pixy Misa at 12:00 AM | Comments (1)

February 22, 2004

Oops, I Did It Again

I just spent two hours composing a post at the login page, clicked "Save", and it brought me back to the Main Menu. *snap* and it's all gone. When will I learn?!


UPDATE III I re--wrote the post in notepad and it has been lost. Then I wrote an update that explained why (because I accidentally clicked "paste " rather than "copy" and the post was replaced with a link) and that update has also been lost for the same reason that the original post was lost and I don't give a shit anymore and I quit.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:52 PM | Comments (6)

February 19, 2004


All this hooplah over Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of Christ" has got me stymied. What is this "collective guilt of the Jews" I keep hearing about?

Being brought up in a protestant Congregational church might have left me unworldly, but I doubt it. Before all this talk about Gibson's movie had started to make some waves I'd never heard of this "collective guilt." But, as best as I've been able to decifer: it stems from this passage in Mathew, chapter 27 (I'm an agnostic but I do read the Bible -- I likes t'be informed about stuff...):

19 While Pilate was seated on the judges' seat his wife sent him this message: "Do not have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him."
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabas to have Jesus executed.
21"Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the Governor.
"Barabas!" they answered.
22 "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked.
They all answered "Crucify him!"
23 "Why? What crime has he commmitted?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"
24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibilty!"
25 All the people answered, "Let the blood be on us and our children!"
26 Then he released Barabas to them but he had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified.

The first thing that this whole brew-hee-haw has brought to mind is that line from Kinky Freidman's song They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore: "...You just wanna doodle a Christian girl and y'killed G-d's only son.." (to which Kinky sardonically replied: "We Jews believe it was Santa Claus that killed Jesus Christ..")

So my gut tells me that this whole "collective guilt" thing is on the minds of Jews, not Christians.
Take notr that it was the crowd that challenged "Let the blood be on us and our children," not the deciples; and it strikes me that the very idea of a "collective guilt" is a self-evidently un-Christian way of thinking.
(I'd love to hear some input from Slave and/or Daniel on these points!)

Take notes: To be Christian is to be Jewish first. Jesus' last meal was at the Last Supper a passover sadir. The blood of the lamb of G-d was meant to fullfill the covenant that Abraham (a righteous yet very all to humanly conflicted man) could not bring himself to fulfill by sacrificing his own son,
Calling the Gospels anti-Semetic -- to Christians -- is like calling G-d anti-Semitic.
We start at the same place and choose to accept, or not, what happened next.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:44 PM | Comments (3)

February 18, 2004

Howard Dean, finally, gets lost

I never thought for a moment that Howard Dean could win the Democratic Party's nomination. He's too untemperate and uncivil. But, if you told me two months ago that he'd end his campaign having not won a single primary, I'd have said you were dreaming.

I don't think it's any coincidence that Dean's base is young college-aged idealists. But I'm actually pleased to realize that even most Democrats are practical enough to see that voting for Dean is throwing your vote away.

This is a good day for those of us who like having adults in charge.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:26 PM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2004

I Kissed You While You Slept

Well here I am finally home at a reasonable hour and I got nothin'. So, I'll just post a song lyric that I wrote about 10 years ago (the mood is very intensely minor chord driven):

I kissed you while you slept 'cause there was nothing left no one I could make love or talk to no desire to reconcile I just laid with you a while and wondered where your dreaming takes you off to

I pulled under the covers
like I did when we were lovers
and watched the glow of moonlight on your skin
and it all went by so fast
like a memory of our past
like a closing door that will not let me in

This very kiss I steal
is for all that was wasn't real
and for all that can be just like what it seems
and for the hope that you'll discover
that there really is a lover
like the man who must have kissed you in your dreams.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)

February 15, 2004

I'm so sick of hearing crap about Vietnam

I've always kinda liked John Kerry. He seems like a steady and studious thinker. But I'm watching the Democrat debate in Wisconson right now and he just said "I stood up to Richard Nixon's war in Vietnam".


Richard Nixon's war on Vietnam???

Has John F'n Kerry forgotten that it was his heroes Kennedy and Johnson that got us into Vietnam?
When Richard Nixon took office there were 500,000 American troops in Vietnam; when Nixon was forced out of office over chicken shit there were NONE

To call Vietnam "Nixon's war" is like calling the 50-yr Cold War "Reagan's war". He inherited it and decided to find a way to end it. Kerry seems to hide the facts that stand in his way.

Okay, I'm calm now.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:31 PM | Comments (4)

February 14, 2004

Just kill me now

Dang. This is like getting the results of my Air Force psyche eval all over again. I suck.
(Linked by Susie who got it from Ted.)

Your Brain Usage Profile
Auditory : 84%
Visual : 15%
Left : 46%
Right : 53%

Spork, you show a moderate right-hemisphere dominance with a strong preference for auditory learning, a certain formula for frustration.

Your right hemisphere is intuitive, perceptive, and somewhat random and chaotic. Nevertheless, your auditory style of learning subjects you to processing information sequentially and along a single dimension. Your hemispheric tendencies aside, you attempt to be reflective and set a rhythm to how you take in material.

The difficulty is that you do not tend to have it within you to readily impose organization. You're not totally chaotic, but organization, planning and structure do not come naturally to you.
Words come easily to your lips, sometimes surprisingly so to you. However, you are more emotional than logical, and attend more to the big picture than the details, with the net result that others may not "get the drift" of what you are saying.

You tend to be quick and changeable in nature, and the discomfort you experience because of the disparity between your hemispheric dominance and your sensory processing can get out of hand. You need to find ways to facilitate your visual processing and imaging as one aspect of altering this frustration.

You do possess enough left hemisphere operability to help organize your experiences and learning processes. The danger that you face is that your creativity and low-key goal orientation will lead you to underachieve. What is required is a more valid representation to yourself of what lies ahead.
Also, you need to find a way to vary the intensity of your thinking and learning. You also need to be wary of questioning yourself too much with regards to your perceptions and the perspective that you have on situations.

UPDATE: I took the test again...and encountered a very different set of questions. The second result was this:

Your Brain Usage Profile
Auditory : 41%
Visual : 58%
Left : 55%
Right : 45%

Spork, you are somewhat left-hemisphere dominant and show a preference for visual learning, although not extreme in either characteristic. You probably tend to do most things in moderation, but not always.

Your left-hemisphere dominance implies that your learning style is organized and structured, detail oriented and logical. Your visual preference, though, has you seeking stimulation and multiple data. Such an outlook can overwhelm structure and logic and create an almost continuous state of uncertainty and agitation. You may well suffer a feeling of continually trying to "catch up" with yourself.

Your tendency to be organized and logical and attend to details is reasonably well-established which should afford you success regardless of your chosen field of endeavor. You can "size up" situations and take in information rapidly. However, you must then subject that data to being classified and organized which causes you to "lose touch" with the immediacy of the problem.

Your logical and methodical nature hamper you in this regard though in the long run it may work to your advantage since you "learn from experience" and can go through the process more rapidly on subsequent occasions.

You remain predominantly functional in your orientation and practical. Abstraction and theory are secondary to application. In keeping with this, you focus on details until they manifest themselves in a unique pattern and only then work with the "larger whole."

With regards to your career choices, you have a mentality that would be good as a scientist, coach, athlete, design consultant, or an engineering technician. You can "see where you want to go" and even be able to "tell yourself," but find that you are "fighting yourself" at the darndest times.

Quite a different take on the ol' Sporkster, eh? I'll take this test a third time and let ya know if it's either a bit skewed or completely fakacktah.

UPDATE II: Well now, this is interesting. I took the test a third time and saw only questions that I'd seen before; no new ones. I answered the same I did before and got this result:

Your Brain Usage Profile
Auditory : 23%
Visual : 76%
Left : 42%
Right : 57%

Spork, you possess an interesting balance of hemispheric and sensory characteristics, with a slight right-brain dominance and a slight preference for visual processing.

Since neither of these is completely centered, you lack the indecision and second-guessing associated with other patterns. You have a distinct preference for creativity and intuition with seemingly sufficient verbal skills to be able to translate in any meaningful way to yourself and others.

You tend to see things in "wholes" without surrendering the ability to attend to details. You can give them sufficient notice to be able to utitlize and incorporate them as part of an overall pattern.

In the same way, while you are active and process information simultaneously, you demonstrate a capacity for sequencing as well as reflection which allows for some "inner dialogue."

All in all, you are likely to be quite content with yourself and your style although at times it will not necessarily be appreciated by others. You have sufficient confidence to not second-guess yourself, but rather to use your critical faculties in a way that enhances, rather than limits, your creativity.

You can learn in either mode although far more efficiently within the visual mode. It is likely that in listening to conversations or lecture materials you simultaneously translate into pictures which enhance and elaborate on the meaning.

It is most likely that you will gravitate towards those endeavors which are predominantly visual but include some logic or structuring. You may either work particularly hard at cultivating your auditory skills or risk "missing out" on being able to efficiently process what you learn. Your own intuitive skills will at times interfere with your capacity to listen to others, which is something else you may need to take into account.

We seem to have three different answers to the very same questions. This can only mean that pop quiz psychology is not merely an inexact science, but not much of a science at all. In other words: I conclude that this fershlugginer test is too meaningless to be meaningful.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:09 PM | Comments (4)

Top 10 Things that I may or may not miss about riding to work on the bus everyday

#10. Standing and holding onto the handstrap because the new buses have only 28 seats that were designed for children, Japanese women and midgets.

#9. That pretty ponytailed redhead who always caught the 9:10 with a large Dunkin Donuts coffee and got off at the Dock Shopping Center. I wish I'd found an excuse to start up a conversation with her.

#8. Surly busdrivers who wouldn't let you on with a transfer that expired 2 minutes earlier even after you explained that it's because the other surly busdriver was running seven minutes ahead of schedule when he gave you the transfer.

#7. Ray and Kevin, two former U.S. Marine who put in 16 years of service and were living on the street. Good guys, though Kevin seemed to have a little dain bramage or something.

#6. Young ladies talking loudly to each other about boyfriends, lesbians and yeast infections.

#5. That Japanese woman who gets off at Brooklawn Avenue and moves her little legs twice as fast as I move mine just to keep 40 feet ahead of me while ocassionally looking back top make sure I wasn't getting too close. (Though after a few times of walking "with" me without incident she began to not be so fraidy scared.)

#4. Gaping in awe every morning at how the houses on Park Avenue turn from mansions to slums as soon as you cross North Avenue.

#3. Arriving at the bus terminal too late to catch the connection and having to stand around for an hour whilst other travellers tried to bum cigarettes off me every 90 frickin' seconds.

#2. Spending only $2.50 a day commuting as opposed to the $6 or $7 per day it costs for gasoline and car insurance.

And the #1 thing I may or may not miss about riding to work on the bus every day:

#1. Traffic lights. No more traffic lights! No more with the incessant stopping and going for traffic lights and stop signs, not to mention the picking up and letting off of passengers. I will be back on I-95 on Monday and cruising to work at 55mph. One vehicle, one occupant; no waiting!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:39 PM | Comments (3)


THE TRUCK IS FIXED!!! (does the happy dance) Yeeeeeeeee HAW!!!!

On the road agin... Feels so good to back on road agin...

Now I can get back to some semblence of regular blogging since I wont be so emotionally drained anymore from spending 4 to 6 hours a day commuting on the STINKIN' BUS!! WOO HOO!!!!!

But, for now, I'm just gonna surf the blogosphere while the chili simmers. Mmmmmm, chili.....
The 2004 edition of Blather Review shall commence tomorrow. YAY!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:01 PM | Comments (2)

February 07, 2004

A Sweet and Sour Sensation

Sometimes walking around the supermarket can inspire me to do things I've never done before or haven't done in a while.

I was in the A&P produce department this morning picking out grapefruit and tomatoes when I noticed - out of the corner of my eye - a bag of lemons. "That's it," I resolved, "dag nab it, I'm making lemonade!"

I haven't done this in probably 12 or 13 years, but it's so easy. There are only three ingredients: lemons, water and sugar.

Here's what I do:

Squeeze the bejeezus out of six lemons. That should give you a good cup and a half of lemon juice.

Dump the lemon juice and 4 cups of cold water into a large pitcher..

In a small sauce pan bring 1 cup of water, 1 cup of suger and the cut up rinds of two of the lemons to a boil.
Let it boil for a minute or two.

Strain the sugar water (discard the rinds) into the pitcher.

Chill it for a few hours in the fridge. Drink. Swoon. Repeat.

I like my lemonade lemony and some might prefer less lemon juice. You might wanna try it with 5 lemons, but, at the very least, you should have 1 cup (about 4 lemons) of lemon juice.

Sure, it's easier to buy lemonade in a carton or can of concentrate, but there's something special about the taste of the fresh, pure and simple fruit of one's own loin labor.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:09 PM | Comments (3)

February 06, 2004

The Bloggers of Munuvia

Okay, now I'm losing it. I've decided to try my hand at another Bud Light-esque ad, but on a new subject. :)

"Olde Drunk Ale", btw, was the name some friends and I gave to our homebrew about ten years ago, so I'm gonna use that instead of Duff Lite.
Maybe I'll write some more of these and fire up the ol' 8-track recorder and post 'em! Nah...

Olde Drunk Ale presents: The Bloggers of Munuvia

*The bloggers of Munuvia...*

Today we salute you: LeeAnn of The Cheese Stands Alone

*...LeeAnn of the Cheese Stands Alone...!*

For letting us taste a slice of life among your whacky neighbors like the screaming newlyweds and Superman-san,

*...where's the pepper spray...*

and while most of us, once in while, come across a stray sock or empty soda bottle laying on our front sidewalk, you, LeeAnn, found a Thanksgiving turkey.

*...ooo, please pass the gravy... *

And, thanks to your penchant for revealing yourself through quizilla, we can wake up and smell the provolone knowing full well what kind of lunatic, which character from American Graffiti, and, of course, what kind of cheese you really are.

the girls: *...a log of leerdammer...*

So, for the sake of every Bobo's choice and with every bird that commits suicide against your window glass we, your faithful readers, will return with a regularity more certain than even the Friday Five.

*...thank god for fiber...*

So put down that pillow and crack open an ice cold Olde Drunk Ale, because when the Munuvians get together for their annual Christmas party, we know what you'll bring to the fiesta: cheddar, stilton, brie and maybe a little bleu -- all neatly diced and cubed ...

the girls: *...chop, chew, chat...*

and when anyone asks "who cut the cheese?" you can proudly stand alone and say "I did, I cut the cheese."

*...ooo, LeeAnn of the Cheese Stands Alo-o-o-o-ne.......*

Olde Drunk Ale, Northwestern Munuvia.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:28 PM | Comments (5)

February 04, 2004

fake beer commercial

(If, for some reason, you're not familiar with the Bud Light commercials and aren't sure how to read this post, you can go HERE and listen to some of the greatest commercials ever produced!)

Duff Lite presents real American heroes.

*real American heroes...*

For your untiring determination to find a way to sell three books for a dollar; today we salute you: Mister Pop-up Ad inventor.

*...mister pop-up ad inventor...!*

We salute you for showing us where to go to trace our geneology, and for reminding us all of the high school classmates that it took us decades to finally forget.

the girls: *...who brought the pile of post-its..."

When they said that you can't make a web surfer read a banner ad you had an idea: to upload advertisements by opening up a brand new window.

*...ooo, don't let the flies in...*

Perhaps you're watching us on one of those nifty mini spy cams, how else could you know that we would have taken that trip to Hawaii if the airline tickets had been just a little cheaper.
And how can we salute you without mentioning one very special word: Viagra.

*...things are popping up all over...!*

We watch in awe as the pop-up ads line up on our task bar like little cyber billboards posted along the information super-highway, just waiting to tell us how our comparitively low I.Q.s can match us up with the partner of our dreams.

the girls: *...who's the double-digit doofus...?*

So crack open a Duff Lite because whether we're refinancing a mortgage, shopping for a penile implant or getting a medical diagnosis by filling out a short on-line questionaire, we know that fullfilling our lives to the degree that we now can just wouldn't be possible without the chutzpah you've shown by simply creating a way to bombard us with so many opportunities -- and making us have to take positive action if we wish NOT to be bombarded.

*...ooo, way to grab us all by the short hairs...*

We thank you, Mister Pop-up Ad inventor, for creating an internet experience that makes us long for a trip to the dentist.

*...my teeth are grinning; they tha-a-a-nk you...*

Duff Brewery; Springfield, USA.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:25 PM | Comments (5)

February 02, 2004

On Cold Days You think About the Sun...

What are Sun Spots?

I've known about them since I was a whipper-snapper learning about dinosaurs and whales and watching Apollo flights.
Sun Spots appear as dark blotches on the Sun's surface, in a given pattern, and often lasting for weeks. Great amounts of radiation are released from them until they eventually fade to nothingness and the surface of the Sun returns to it's formally smooth self. But, in all my youth, no one ever seemed to be able to identify what causes them.

I hadn't thought about Sun Spots in years until 1994. That's when I saw some images of the imact craters on Jupiter following it's collision with comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.. I saw various photos and time-elapsed films and thought: "Golly gee whiz, they sure look like Sun Spots."

So, my working hypothesis is that Sun Spots are simply the impact craters left by meteors and comets.
I'm not sure what made me recall this just now, but I'm gonna do a little research about what is known about Sun Spots and see if I'm onto something or not.

I just lo-o-o-o-o-ve solving mysteries!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)
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